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Watch now: Illinois National Guard departs for Biden inauguration
BIDEN INAUGURATION

Watch now: Illinois National Guard departs for Biden inauguration

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Illinois guardsmen deploy to Washington D.C. from the Peoria Air National Guard base.

PEORIA — Eighteen members of the Illinois National Guard 182nd Airlift Wing Security Forces in Peoria left Thursday morning for Washington, D.C., to help secure the U.S. Capitol ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

There they will join more than 20,000 National Guard members guarding Capitol Hill ahead of concerns for potential violence following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday activated around 200 Illinois guardsmen to provide additional security on Inauguration Day.

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Members of the Illinois National Guard 182nd Airlift Wing prepare to fly guardsmen to Washington, D.C., to prepare for the presidential inauguration, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.

That includes around 100 military police soldiers with the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s 33rd Military Police Battalion, based in Bloomington, a small medical team, and security forces airmen with the 183rd Wing based in Springfield and the 126th Air Refueling Wing based at Scott Air Force Base.

It has been an unprecedented year for guard operations, officials with the 182nd Airlift Wing said. The state called on the guard for help on multiple occasions, including activating 43 guard members during the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and civil disobedience missions, and placed on watch for potential flooding.

Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.

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